• Kyodo

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Japanese working mothers spend less time on personal grooming before going to work than single women so they can care for their children.

According to an opinion poll conducted by major watch manufacturer Citizen Holdings Co., working mothers — defined as married women with toddlers — spend about 10 minutes less getting spruced up than their single counterparts with no children.

“The limited time before heading out to work is spent more on caring for children, and their own personal maintenance takes a back seat to this,” a company official said.

The nationwide survey was conducted in late September in an Internet questionnaire of 400 working mothers with children up to 5 years old.

Working mothers spent an average of 27 minutes on grooming. Single working women took an average of 36 minutes to get themselves ready, according to a survey conducted by the company on 600 women with no children in 2011.

The maxim “early to bed, early to rise” also appears to be true for mothers.

The recent poll found that on average, mothers rise 42 minutes and go to bed 35 minutes earlier on weekdays than they did before childbirth. On their days off, they get up one hour, 20 minutes and turn in for the night 44 minutes earlier on average.

Japanese working mothers, the survey found, take time out to converse and read picture books with their children, spending an average of three hours and 10 minutes per day on such activities.

In a multiple-response questionnaire, 55 percent of mothers said having a good rapport with their children was their top priority in their daily lives, followed by sleep and hobbies.

When it came to areas where husbands could help out more, the number one response was playing with the children, chosen by 42.3 percent of the respondents. Assisting with children’s bathing and cleaning up around the house were second and third at 41.3 percent and 33.5 percent.

“It’s evident that couples working together to communicate with children is very important for mothers to manage both child-rearing and work,” the official said.

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